Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Allan R. Millett

Second Advisor

Robert L. Dupont

Third Advisor

Charles Chamberlain


This paper examines the motivators and legacy of the Louisiana volunteer units on Line Jackson during the winter of 1814-1815. Orleans Parish fielded three volunteer battalions to the final engagements: the Orleans Volunteers, and the First and Second Battalions of Free Men of Color. Two companies, Beale’s Rifles and a Baratarian artillery unit, were attached to the Orleans Volunteers under the command of Major Plauché. Each volunteer, both as an individual and as a unit, hoped to gain some benefit from military service beyond defense of their homes. This paper argues that each one sought recognition and acceptance from their community and from the republic for which they fought. The experience of Louisiana’s Creoles under both French and Spanish regimes held that military service was necessary to attain economic and social advantage. The Battle of New Orleans tested whether or not military service under the American republic provided the same benefit.


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